10 October 2010

The Netherlands Antilles gets dissolved as a country.

annewz

The Netherlands Antilles was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was dissolved on 10 October 2010.

After dissolution, the “BES islands” of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands proper, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along the lines of Aruba, which separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986.

he idea of the Netherlands Antilles as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands never enjoyed the full support of all islands, and political relations between islands were often strained. Geographically, the Leeward Antilles islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, and the Leeward Islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten lie almost 1,000 kilometres apart. Culturally, the Leeward Antilles have deep connections with the South American mainland, especially Venezuela, and its population speaks a Portuguese-Dutch creole language called Papiamento; the other three islands are part of the English-speaking Caribbean.

When the new constitutional relationship between the Netherlands and its former West Indian colonies was enshrined in the Kingdom Charter of 1954, the colonial administrative division of the Netherlands Antilles, which was derived from the colony of Curaçao and Dependencies and grouped all six Caribbean islands together under one administration, was taken for granted. Despite the fact that Aruban calls for secession from the Netherlands Antilles originated in the 1930s, the governments of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles did everything in their power to keep the six islands together. The Netherlands did this so as to make sure that the Netherlands Antilles could become independent as soon as possible, a call that became increasingly louder in the Netherlands after the Willemstad riots of 1969 in Curaçao. The government of the Netherlands Antilles feared that the whole Netherlands Antilles would disintegrate if one of the islands seceded; Antillean Prime Minister Juancho Evertsz once famously remarked that “six minus one equals zero”.

5 May 2010

Protests in Greece take place in response to austerity measures imposed by the government.

World markets plunge over fears that Greece’s economic crisis will spread to other countries despite austerity measures.In a dramatic escalation of the anger unleashed by the economic crisis engulfing Greece, communist protesters stormed the Acropolis today as the euro and world markets plunged on concerns about the debt-choked country’s huge bailout from the EU and the IMF.

Irate trade unionists took over Athens’ ancient landmark as fury over an unprecedented package of austerity measures, agreed in return for a multibillion euro aid package from eurozone nations and the IMF, intensified.

By the break of dawn the citadel’s ramparts had been draped with banners proclaiming: “Peoples of Europe rise up.”

Fears that the Greek crisis will spread to other countries sent markets reeling around the world today. The FTSE 100 in London closed down 142 points and, in New York, American markets fell by more than 2% as investors worried that a failure to push through austerity measures in Greece will lead to a spiralling loss of confidence in other indebted countries.

In Athens, protesting public sector workers said their action had been prompted by “blind anger” over the near-bankrupt government’s decision to accept the painful policies.

The measures, which are aimed at bringing Greece’s public deficit within permissible EU levels by 2014, through a tough cost-cutting regime worth €30bn (£25bn), have hit civil servants the hardest.

Furious Greeks have likened the three-year austerity programme and the attendant international monitoring of their public finances, to a foreign occupation.

15 December 2010

A boat of asylum seekers crashes into rocks off the coast of Christmas Island, Australia, killing 48 people.

On 15 December 2010, a boat carrying around 90 asylum seekers, mostly from Iraq and Iran, sank off the coast of Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, killing 48 people aboard; 42 survivors were rescued.

At about 6.30 a.m. local time the boat collided with rocks north of Flying Fish Cove close to Rocky Point and was then smashed against the nearby cliffs, complicating rescue attempts. For a period of about one hour, the unpowered boat was washed back and forth as backwash pushed it away from the cliff. Many of those who entered the water grabbed onto the flotsam and jetsam as the boat quickly broke up.Residents tried to help victims by throwing them life jackets and other objects. Some refugees were battered by the debris from the disintegrating boat and some were able to use the life jackets thrown from the shore. Rescue efforts by Australian Customs and Border Protection included allocation of HMAS Pirie and ACV Triton, with at least 42 survivors having been recovered from the ocean. One man was able to scramble ashore himself with a great leap.[10] Poor weather conditions made rescue operations difficult. Two critical care teams from the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia left from Perth to provide medical assistance.